Horizon Blog

Horizon’s Stronger Together Action Plan

March 31st, 2021

Horizon is committed to being an anti-racist, diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. Through self-reflection and the following actions, we pledge to advance equity, racial justice, and equal opportunity for all. We can and will do better and hold ourselves accountable for measurable results and real change.

The Horizon Stronger Together Action Plan advances diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in our company and in our hearts. The following commitments will be the foundation upon which all Horizon DEIB initiatives will be built:

Commitment #1: Understanding, advancing, and celebrating diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging will become a cornerstone of Horizon culture. Every current and future Horizon team member will be immersed in our “Stronger Together” program that involves learning modules, panels, trainings, awareness campaigns, and giveback opportunities.

Commitment #2: We will make it a priority to continually increase workplace diversity of underrepresented groups at all levels of our organization and consistently be transparent regarding our progress.

Commitment #3: We will cultivate meaningful relationships to expand our network, give back to the communities we serve, and collaborate with organizations who also share in DEIB values.

Our DEIB Vision:

We envision a future where every individual, including employees, patients, families, and the community, can see and feel a sense of belongingness at Horizon because of the anti-racist, diverse, equitable, and inclusive values exhibited in our words and actions. Through training and development, hiring and retention, advancement opportunities, and diversity represented at all levels, every Horizon employee will know and understand that a DEIB culture is a core value and commitment of Horizon.

What do we mean by DEIB and Anti-Racism?

  • Diversity means that staff represent a variety of different backgrounds.
  • Equity ensures that everyone has access to resources that allow for growth and development.
  • Inclusivity means that each individual, no matter their background, is valued.
  • Belongingness is defined as the sense of psychological and emotional well-being and safety that enables people to perform at their best, feel valued, respected, and connected, and know that they can contribute their unique views and ideas.
  • Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization: The goal of anti-racist work is to widen the circle of power and opportunity. To start, we need to understand structural racism, which refers to the practices, policies, procedures, and most importantly, social culture of institutions that perpetuate barriers to opportunity and racial inequities.
    • The core of anti-racist work is to seek to recognize institutional bias and to make structural changes that are supported by policies and procedures that are accountable with outcomes of equity.
    • Equity is further defined as, “the consistent and systematic fair, just and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities, such as Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color, people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ); people with disabilities; religious minorities; persons who live in rural areas and persons otherwise affected by persistent poverty or inequality.” Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

As another part of our Stronger Together Action Plan, we have hired Jen Loughran as our Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Jen joined the Horizon team back in 2010, when she started as a counselor. After two years, Jen moved to Nevada and North Carolina where she primarily worked as a therapist and a Clinical Liaison. Upon returning to Buffalo in 2018, Jen was eager to return to Horizon. Jen became part of the Clinical Services team, primarily serving as a Clinical Training Specialist. Jen’s passion for social justice and goals to make Horizon a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization led her to become an active member on the DEIB Council. Jen has been involved in several DEIB initiatives, including co-developing and presenting at the New Hire Celebration and the Women’s Behavioral Health Seminar. Jen also assisted in the rollout of the Summer Racial Equity Journey, Race Ignites, and Race Panels. Jen is excited to begin this new role to further promote Horizon’s DEIB mission. Her main priorities include expanding DEIB’s reach throughout the company as well as externally through community networking and building partnerships. She says, “I would like to focus on implementing more DEIB training for all staff, including upper management and Senior Leadership, revamping recruitment/hiring practices, updating policies and procedures through a DEIB lens, promoting/hiring more diverse candidates throughout all levels of the organization, and I want Horizon to be known as a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist workplace, internally and externally.”

While we know these changes, actions, and goals will not happen overnight, we are committed to bringing our Horizon Stronger Together Action Plan to life and ensuring that we are always listening, learning, and, most importantly, taking action.

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